The Role of Process Improvements in Reducing Heart Failure Readmissions

Rachel Dong, R. Kannan Mutharasan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objective: To review selected process-of-care interventions that can be applied both during the hospitalization and during the transitional care period to help address the persistent challenge of heart failure readmissions. Methods: Review of the literature. Results: Process-of-care interventions that can be implemented to reduce readmissions of heart failure patients include: accurately identifying heart failure patients; providing disease education; titrating guideline-directed medical therapy; ensuring discharge readiness; arranging close discharge follow-up; identifying and addressing social barriers; following up by telephone; using home health; and addressing comorbidities. Importantly, the heart failure hospitalization is an opportunity to set up outpatient success, and setting up feedback loops can aid in postdischarge monitoring. Conclusion: We encourage teams to consider local capabilities when selecting processes to improve; begin by improving something small to build capacity and team morale, and continually iterate and reexamine processes, as health care systems are continually evolving.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)184-190
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Outcomes Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2020


  • Heart failure
  • Process improvement
  • Quality improvement
  • Readmission
  • Rehospitalization
  • Transitional care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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